Forgiving someone is a very difficult thing. Perhaps this is because we feel hurt or upset when someone offends us, and sometimes we just find it would be so unfair to forgive what people did to hurt us. Our pride and dignity is hurt. We are focussing too much on us, and we ignore our own guilt before God.
You see, God is holy and his honour and dignity are perfect and eternal! When we recognize that, it becomes easier to see that we have received something we do not deserve.
Have you ever stopped to think about your sin, your offenses against God? Can you count them? Perhaps if you did that and then multiplied it by God’s holiness and dignity you would find the result is the size of your debt to HIM. Your guilt.
The Bible tells us that the penalty for our sins is death:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Striking isn’t it? To think that we deserve death but we received forgiveness. This is what God did with our sins:
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14
Our record is now clean. While we are letting revenge and bitterness cloud our minds and hearts God sent His Son to die on the cross for us.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Amazing isn’t it? So, when we focus on that it becomes easier to forgive those that offend us.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13
May God give us the strength to practice forgiveness in our lives.
Thanks to Ricardo Libaneo who shared a fantastic post on this subject and has encouraged me immensly. Ricardo is my brother-in-law and is a pastor of a Baptist church in Brazil.